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Match preview: RSL hosts Vancouver Whitecaps in third of four straight home games

After suffering their worst home loss in club history, RSL looks to bounce back against 11th-place Vancouver on Saturday.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

After a much-needed break with no midweek game, Real Salt Lake will play host to the Vancouver Whitecaps and hope to bounce back from a devastating 5-0 loss to regional rivals Colorado Rapids last week. Hopefully, suffering their worst home loss in club history will be enough to see an energized and motivated team this weekend.

Vancouver is coming off a big 3-1 win at home over the Montreal Impact on Wednesday, so tired legs combined with the travel might not fare so well for the Canadian side.

RSL has won the last four in a row against Vancouver at Rio Tinto Stadium, but as we saw last week, history means nothing for future games — especially this year.

Real Salt Lake

Record: 3-3-5 (14 points)
Table: 9th place (west)
Points per game: 1.27
Most goals: Damir Kreilach (5)
Most assists: Corey Baird (4)
Clean sheets: 4

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

After giving up two early goals in the first 10 minutes last week — both scored by Diego Rubio — things went south really fast for the home side as they struggled to find any sense of rhythm and chemistry. They would go on to give up three more goals, and honestly were pretty lucky that it wasn’t even more than that. The Rapids had their number all night long and could have easily sent seven or eight past Andrew Putna.

It’s time to look forward to the weekend, though, and shake off any remaining gloom left from just a week ago. Douglas Martinez will have to sit this one out after receiving a red card just 19 minutes after he was subbed in last week, but other than that it looks like RSL will have a full-strength squad, minus Tate Schmitt who is still out with a knee injury. With the news that “Cobra Krei” Damir Kreilach has inked a new multi-year deal with the team, he’ll be free to focus on the game alone, as he currently sits at the top of the goal-scoring totem pole with five on the season.

RSL swept the ‘Caps in last year’s series, with a pair of 1-0 wins — at home in March, and then again at BC Place in October. The Whitecaps have only won once at Rio Tinto Stadium, and RSL will do everything in their power to keep it that way.

This will be the third of four straight home matches for Real Salt Lake, rounding off the home stretch with a visit from the LA Galaxy next Wednesday.


OUT: Tate Schmitt (knee), Douglas Martinez (red card suspension)

Projected Lineup

Putna; Herrera, Glad, Onuoha, Toia; Ruiz, Kreilach; Chang, Rusnak, Meram; Baird

Vancouver Whitecaps

Record: 4-7-0 (12 points)
Table: 11th place (west)
Points per game: 1.09
Most goals: Cristian Dajome (3)
Most assists: David Milinkovic (4), Ali Adnan (4)
Clean sheets: 2

MLS: Montreal Impact at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

In their first match against a non-Canadian team since the MLS is Back Tournament ended, Vancouver will head to Rio Tinto in hopes of stringing together another win. After a 4-2 loss last Sunday against Montreal in which both sides saw red cards, they turned around a few days later and were able to snatch a 3-1 victory over the Impact this past Wednesday, earning their fourth win of the season.

Fredy Montero had a big hand in the win, as he nailed a penalty kick to get things started, then finished the game off with an assist and another goal. In only 144 minutes played this season, Montero notched his first two goals and first assist on Wednesday against Montreal, and surely will hope to continue that level of play in Sandy this weekend.

The ‘Caps are missing their starting goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau, who has been out for quite a while with a fractured thumb. Ontario native Thomas Hasal has stepped in to fill the gap, allowing 13 goals in the eight games he’s played this season.


OUT: Maxime Crépeau (thumb), Jasser Khmiri (undisclosed injury)
PROBABLE: Janio Bikel (adductor strain), Tosaint Ricketts (undisclosed injury)

Projected Lineup

Hasal; Nerwinski, Rose, Cornelius, Adnan; Owusu, Baldisimo, Teibert; Milinkovic; Bair, Cavallini

Match info

When: Saturday, September 19, 2020, 7:30PM MT

Where: Rio Tinto Stadium — Sandy, UT

Weather: 70 degrees, clear

Broadcast: KMYU, KSL TV app (streaming), ESPN+ (streaming), ESPN700 (radio)

Referee: Kevin Stott